As I plug away at my reading and planning for this coming school year, I’ve been thinking a lot about the rhythms in our house. Probably one of my most favorite rhythms for both me and the children is morning Circle Time. This is something we do almost every day, rain or shine (except Friday’s, which is when I try to get us to horse back riding lessons by 8:30 or 9, at the latest).
We began doing a daily Circle Time about two years ago and it is now something which the kids look forward to and count on as a warm up to our day. Our Circle Time has evolved very little over all that time.
We start out with a simple verse or rhyme or fingerplay. Right now the girls favorite is one about mice which live in a house so nice, so we do that one first. It has accompanying hand gestures and Grace especially gets a kick out of this. This is followed by reading a book which pertains to the season, and then another rhyme/song/fingerplay. After that, I either verbally tell a story, or read another seasonally appropriate book, but either way, I try to read/tell the second book/story successively for the next three days in a row (following the Waldorf method of threes). Then another song/rhyme/fingerplay. (We keep the same songs/verses/fingerplays for a whole season so it can really sink in and become apart of us.) Then we might be completely done warming up for the day, or, depending which day it is, we might go to the table and I will bring out the crayons and drawing paper and begin drawing something from our book/story. Sophia almost always imitates what I am drawing, but I never coach her work, even though she does ask for help drawing “like you do.” I simply tell her she must draw “like Sophia.” If it is Thursday, we might paint something relevant to the book/story (the girls LOVE wet-on-wet painting!).
My favorite Circle Time verse from our current repertoire is:
My hands help
My hands play
My hands are busy
All the long day
My hands give
My hands are kind
With my clever hands
I make and I find